They come for craft beer and stay for pilsner

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hops, Beer

Craft beer drinkers are going to specialist pubs for the beer range, but are staying for less-challenging tasting beers like pilsners according to Veltins managing director of vertical drinks Steve Holt.

Holt, who is the 192-year-old German beer maker’s UK representative, told The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​) in this video that pilsner was more accessible than some of the more hop-forward craft beers, while having the same “crafted” credentials.

The MD, who also runs his own brewery and pub in Leeds, added: “There’s a lot of focus on the craft sector with very challenging tastes and flavours.”

Pilsner exclusive:

Pilsner for the on-trade
Last month, Molson Coors-owned Staropramen launched a new light 4% ABV pilsner for the on-trade called Prahva, which was revealed for the first time exclusively to the MA​.
The crisp, new brew was made available on draught to the on-trade on 2 June and is made using two specially selected malts, as well as three Czech hops.
At the time of the launch, Molson Coors portfolio brand director Ali Pickering said: "Pravha is the unexpected side of Staropramen – an unexpectedly refreshing drinking experience that you might not find from a Czech pilsner."

Hop-forward and high strength

He added: “A lot of the beers are very hop-forward and have high strength. Those outlets [stocking them] do tend to attract a wide range of consumers and not every consumer wants that level of challenge on their taste buds.”

“We often find that the pilsner probably has the greater volume [of production], but the craft beers attract the audience.”

Watch the rest of this video to learn about the impact of German beer in the UK on-trade, which Holt says in increasing in consumer choice.


Meanwhile, Holt’s claims echo those of competitor Czech beer brand Pilsner Urquell. The brewer’s beer master Robert Lobovsky told the MA ​in an exclusive podcast​ that stronger craft brews were detrimental to sessionable beers.

He said: “In the world of craft beers, where scope has become all about different flavours, sessionable is something that seems to have disappeared over the past couple of years to a certain extent.”

Customers wanted to try new, interesting and high-quality beers, but they also wanted to option to stick with one beer, he added.

Read more about Veltins’ presence in the UK in another story later today.

Related topics: Beer, Ale & Stout, Lager

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